Canadian Delegation Held 1st Biennial Consultations, Set To Foster Closer Ties With Bhutan
The two sides exchanged views on the recent political, economic developments and bilateral cooperation in Bhutan and Canada.
By Staff Reporter | Kuensel
Bhutan and Canada held its first biennial consultations yesterday in Thimphu the capital, following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two foreign ministries in December 2018.
The Canadian delegation was led by Nadir Patel, Canada’s Ambassador to Bhutan whereas the Bhutanese delegation was led by the Director of Bilateral Affairs, Sonam Tobgay.
Various discussions held between Bhutan and Canada
According to a press release from the foreign ministry, the two sides exchanged views on the recent political, economic developments and bilateral cooperation in Bhutan and Canada.
It stated that Bhutan provided briefings on the status of its 12th Five Year Plan, its flagship programmes, the revised Foreign Direct Investment Policy as well as the TVET reform.
The two sides also held in-depth discussions on collaboration in the fields of health, sustainable mining, higher education and employment opportunities for Bhutanese in Canada.
Source: Facebook/Canada in Bhutan
The delegation agreed to grant a new Canada Fund for a local initiative project worth Nu 1 million to provide vocational training for more than a hundred Bhutanese youth living with disabilities in the East.
Canada will also work in partnership with the Health Ministry and National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) by providing technical assistance for the empowerment of women and girls as well as to provide advisory support and expertise in the areas of high-altitude medicine.
Canada’s contributions to Bhutan so far
Formal diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Canada was established in June 2003. Since then, Canadian assistance to Bhutan in the past had mainly been in the education sector through the training of Bhutanese teachers and educationists at the University of New Brunswick (UNB).
Photo: Facebook/Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
“From education, cooperation between Bhutan and Canada has expanded and now encompasses a wide range of areas,” the press release stated.
Most recently, the Canadian government has added Bhutan on the list of countries eligible for Canadian government scholarships.
Canada will also launch a bio-metrics collection project in Bhutan on a pilot basis at the beginning of the first half of 2020 to enhance education and employment opportunities for Bhutanese in Canada.
Moreover, Canada has also been funding projects in various sectors in Bhutan through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the Canada-Asia Trade and Investment for Growth Program.
Looking ahead, Canada and Bhutan are also looking at collaborating on MORE projects through the Pilot Mission Deployment Fund.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.